Eating Mindfully At Home
After a couple of months spent social distancing at home, at some point we’ve all thought, “Ugh, I have to cook again?!” In these stressful times, crafting nutritious, balanced meals can sometimes feel therapeutic, but it’s also easier to let less healthy food habits creep in. Add in food shortages and lines outside grocery stores and it can be tempting to live off takeout until further notice. While we’re all for balance, eating healthy at home doesn’t have to be complicated or feel like a burden. Here are a few tips to make healthy eating easy - and even fun!
Shop Your Own Pantry
There’s never been a better time to organize your pantry and fridge, and you’ll probably be surprised at what you can pull together from what’s already on hand. Take everything out, even that mystery container that’s freezer-burned-beyond-recognition. Throw away any items that are expired, and donate any nonperishables that you know you won’t eat to your local food pantry. Take stock of what you have, then get creative! See how many meals you can build out of what you already have, or try to use one on-hand ingredient for each meal this week. Bonus - you’ll have a cleaner pantry and you’ll save money on your next grocery run!
Build a Holistic Meal With What You Have
All you need for a satisfying meal is a protein, a healthy fat, and a carb or fiber. Mix and match what you have, then throw in some fresh ingredients. Here are a few quick ideas:
- Oatmeal with nut butter and hemp or chia seeds
- Lentils, a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of coconut milk, and curry paste or powder
- Rice or quinoa, black beans, and diced sweet potatoes, topped with salsa and pepitas
- Lentil or chickpea pasta with a jar of your favorite sauce
Buy from Local Producers
If you’re looking to make fewer grocery store runs, try getting your food right from the source by supporting local farmers. With many restaurants and local farmer’s markets closed, many small farms are struggling. Buying direct is a win-win! First, check for local CSAs where you can get a weekly box of whatever seasonal produce they’re harvesting, delivered to your house or to a local pickup point. If you can’t find one, try contacting the coordinator of your local farmer’s market to see if you can arrange pickups from local farmers.
Stock up Online
If you can’t find your favorites in the store (or just need some extra convenience right now), get your pantry staples online. Websites like Thrive Market and Amazon carry a wide variety of basics and snacks. And you can always shop your favorite vegan protein bars on our website!
Incorporate Immune-Boosting Foods
Keeping our immune systems strong is more important than ever. Try incorporating fruits and veggies with Vitamin C (citrus, broccoli, bell peppers, etc.) and consider adding in supplements like elderberry or echinacea to support immune function. Gut health is also key to a strong immune system, so throw some probiotics, fermented foods, coconut yogurt, or kombucha into the mix.
Shop and Eat Mindfully
There’s no shortage of urgent and complex challenges in our world right now, and those challenges can make it feel like food is a trivial piece of the puzzle, but it’s the fuel our bodies use to keep us healthy and mentally sharp. Shop with longevity and versatility in mind, keep things as simple as you need to, and take a moment to truly savor your meals. We all have to eat, so it’s worth investing that extra bit of thought, gratitude, and even joy into your cooking routine.